HL Deb 08 August 1884 vol 292 cc260-1

said, he wished to direct their Lordships' attention for a moment to a personal matter. In the course of the debate on the Canal Boats Bill, his noble Friend who had charge of the measure (Lord Carrington) stated that the powers which were given by the Bill for the inspection of canal boats were not more stringent than those which existed for the inspection of houses. He (the Earl of Wemyss) had ventured to dispute that statement, and to say that no powers existed for inspecting houses, unless there was reason to believe that some nuisance existed. For saying so, he had been taken soundly to task by his noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty (the Earl of North-brook), who declared that he was wrong, and mentioned an instance which occurred on his own property in Hampshire, where some cottages which belonged to him had been inspected, and attention called to their condition by the Inspector. He (the Earl of Wemyss) had thought it right, in these circumstances, to ascertain the real state of the law, and he found it to be such as he had stated. The state of the law was, that a Sanitary Inspector had no more right under the law to inspect any cottage or house than he had to go into the house of his noble Friend (Lord Carrington) in Whitehall. If it was suspected, however, that the house was a nuisance to the public, then the Inspector went before a magistrate, and, on oath, stated his belief that a nuisance existed, after which he obtained an order to inspect the house. But even then the inspection was limited to certain hours—from 9 o'clock in the morning to 6 o'clock at night.


said, he did not mean to convey that the powers were exactly the same. He must point out, however, that a house was not like a boat. A boat was always on the move, from 6 o'clock in the morning until 6 o'clock at night, and that was the reason why he had asked their Lordships to agree to the provision that the hours of inspection should be extended at least three hours longer.

House adjourned at a quarter before Six o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter past Four o'clock.